Donna L. Burden

Donna Burden

Donna L. Burden is a founding member of the law firm of Burden, Hafner & Hansen, LLC and has over 25 years of experience as a trial attorney defending catastrophic personal injury cases primarily in the areas of trucking and transportation negligence, automobile accidents, as well as product liability, municipal law/governmental liability, employment law, professional liability, labor law and premises liability.



Ms. Burden is an accomplished trucking law attorney and has been honored with membership in the highly selective Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA) which is the only international organization devoted exclusively to the defense of the trucking industry in personal injury, property damage, and worker's compensation claims.  Ms. Burden is also the coordinator of the firm's Emergency Response Team, which is a team of attorneys, field adjusters, accident reconstruction experts and other professionals available on a 24/7 basis to represent trucking and transportation industry clients whose vehicles have been involved in accidents across New York State.



  • State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Law, J.D., 1987
  • St. Bonaventure University, B.A. (cum laude), 1984

Practice Areas:

  • Trucking and Transportation Negligence
  • Catastrophic Injury Defense
  • Product Liability
  • Municipal Liability/Governmental Liability
  • Employment Law
  • Labor Law
  • Professional Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Medical Device
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents (including third-party personal injury and first-party claims)

Admitted to Practice:

  • New York State - All Courts
  • United States District Court, Western District of New York
  • United States District Court, Northern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Professional Affiliations/Activities:

  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
    • Transportation Committee Chair 2013-2014
    • Vice Chair of the Sub-Committee of the Transportation Committee 2012-2013
    • Member 2011-present
    • Faculty, 2015 IADC Trial Academy
  • Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA)
    • 2012-2018 Director
    • Canadian Relations Committee Chair (2013-2016)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • 2009-2012 National Director
    • 2007-2008 Chair of the Trucking Law Committee
    • 2006 Program Chair of DRI's Trucking Law Committee Conference in Chicago entitled "Big Wheels Keep on Rollin': Confronting New Challenges Posed by Technology and Defending Trucking Clients"
  • THEMIS Advocates Group
  • American Bar Association
    • Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section
    • 2006 Speaker at the Tort and Insurance Practice Section Commercial Transportation Committee of the American Bar Association Megaconference on Transportation Law
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section
  • CTLA (Canadian Transport Lawyers Assoc.)
  • Ontario Trucking Association
  • CLM (Claims and Litigation Management Alliance)
    • Upstate New York CLM Chapter
  • TLA (Transportation Lawyers Assoc.)
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
  • Western New York Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Erie County Bar Association
    • Treasurer 2012-2013
    • Deputy Treasurer 2011-2012
    • Negligence Committee

Civic Activities:

    • Board of Directors of Heritage Centers 2000-2011
      • Chair 2009-2011
      • Vice-Chair 2007-2009
      • Secretary 2005-2007
    • Former member of the Board of Directors of the Heritage Centers Foundation (Heritage Oak Foundation) 2009-2011
    • Former member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Handicapped Children (CHC Learning Center ) 2001-2011
    • Former President and board member of the Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped (SABAH)
    • Former member of the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Foundation


    • Named to Buffalo Business First's 15th annual "40 Under Forty" ranking of Buffalo's Leaders under the age of 40 in 2001
    • Names "Who's Who in Law" in Buffalo's Business First in 2008, 2011
    • Numerous presentations and submissions at conferences across the country and in Chicago, Arkansas and Toronto focusing on trucking defense litigation as well as spoke locally at the Erie County Bar Association Premises Liability Seminar on Animal Bites.
    • Speaker ABA Women in Products Liability Conference in New Orleans in October 4, 2007.